Tagum has new IP representative – and she’s a woman

TAGUM CITY – The indigenous peoples (IPs) in the cultural communities (CCs) of the City of Tagum will finally have a voice in the Sangguniang Panglungsod now that Bia Jessica Pandacan Ado of Barangay Pagsabangan has taken her oath as the Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) to the Tagum City Council on February 3, 2020 at the City Hall of Tagum Atrium.

Bia Ado of the Mandaya tribe is the third to sit as the City IPMR and succeeded the late Datu Damiano Cipro who died in office in August 2019 before he could finish his term.

Prior to Ado’s confirmation to become the mandatory representative to the 8th city council, the Tagum City Federation of Barangay Tribal Council met with Atty. Geroncio Aguio, the Regional Director of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) XI where they waived, through the passage of a council resolution, the remaining un-served term of Datu Cipro and opted to start with a new term to be served by a tribal chieftain from the Mandaya tribe as prescribed in the IPMR Local Guidelines and in accordance with the NCIP- vetted Indigenous Political Structure (IPS) of the city’s cultural communities.

The said guideline which directs the IPs/CCs relative to their nomination of the communities’ political leaders included a provision that states that the term rotation in representing the IPs after the term of Datu Cipro will start with the Mandaya, followed by the Mansaka, and the Kagan tribes. The order had been based on a “draw lot” system for fairness and equality.

Meanwhile, the representation of the migrant tribes to the city council will commence after the end of the term of the Kagan tribal chieftain.

The newly installed IPMR got the stamp of approval of her fellow Mandaya tribal chieftains during the “pagbawbaw” (meeting) among the city’s five Mandaya tribal chieftains of barangays Mankilam, Pagsabangan, Cuambogan, San Miguel and Canocotan.

Mayor Allan Rellon, who is explicitly precluded by the NCIP and the IPS from influencing the nomination process of the IPMR, had been welcoming of the installation of Bia Ado as the new mandatory representative of the cultural communities.

Bia Ado, from the Pandacan Clan in Pagsabangan, became the tribal chieftain of the said barangay following the death of her father, Datu Kanse Pandacan, who was the previous tribal chieftain, and after the declination of the oldest son to succeed the post.  She came into the position of Barangay Pagsabangan IPMR in 2013 thru a consensus of the IP members of the area. (Richi Gulle/CIO- Tagum)


Bia Jessica Ado of the Mandaya tribe of Barangay Pagsabangan takes her Oath of Office in front of her family as the new City IPMR to the 8th City Council of Tagum with Mayor Allan Rellon swearing her in, and witnessed by Vice Mayor Eva Lorraine Estabillo, the City Councilors and LGU employees. Vinz Davo/CIO Tagum